Our highly successful World Languages Days for year 8 students have just taken place in Medway and Canterbury. These events encourage young people to learn about the joys and benefits of learning a foreign language through interactive workshops and activities. Little World Theatre, a professional drama company, presented their view of “Masterchef” in French and Spanish getting each day off to an entertaining start. Participants could then choose from a range of language based workshops led by University of Kent staff and students some providing the opportunity to try out a new language and others the chance to use their existing knowledge. Languages included French, Spanish, Russian, German, Portuguese, Mandarin, Japanese, Italian and Ancient Greek and students worked with puppets, made fiesta masks and took part in dance and drama workshops. In Medway, the day included a mock EU referendum giving participants a chance to discuss the issues and cast their vote (Remain won 75% to 25%). At lunchtime students took part in the World Fayre – an opportunity to get some free pens, pencils, books and bags if they asked for them in a language other than English danced to salsa music and drank Turkish tea. Each day ended with the hotly contested final of the annual Euroquiz. One teacher commented ‘This event covered a wide range of languages and encouraged students to use and learn languages in a creative way’.
The University is the UK’s European University and is proud to be outward facing and international. We value intellectual and cultural diversity and the benefits that brings to the University and wider society. World Languages Day is offered by the University as part of that vision.